Disclaimer – Harry Potter does not unfortunately belong to me but the amazing JKR otherwise many a character would still be living / not evil lol

Chapter 8 – Reality Kicks In

Harry squealed, first in pain from the bite but then in pleasure from the feel of Draco's magic rushing through his system, trying to mark his and declare him permanently off limits to anyone who dared try to take him. But the magic only lay in wait, waiting till that crucial moment of acceptance from Harry.

After the post-bonding magic bliss has passed the fog of instincts over the two boys lifted, not completely but to a more manageable level. Draco groaned with disbelief with how he had acted at times while harry blushed with embarrassment and anger, at himself, that he had acted so … so … Submissive!

Both boys laid in silence, neither willing to break the tension that had built up between them.

"Harry" Draco began, "I mean Potter … I mean" stumbling on how to address his new mate. "Are you … continuing this bond?" Doubting himself in the aftermath and remembering his parents telling him how some denied these bonds for a life of soul-repressing potions and to bond with other partners instead.

Harry remained quiet for a long time, wondering how to answer; taking this as rejection Draco made to pull away and move from his position at Harry's side, Veela intent on finding his parents for reassurance. Harry quickly moved an arm to stop him and pull him back down to his side, leaning up on his elbow so he could look in his eyes. "I would prefer to get to know you before I did anything, rejection or acceptance", Harry told Draco firmly with honesty shining through his jewelled eyes and sincerity clear in his voice.

"That I can deal with" was Draco's reply, pure relief clear in his eyes and with an oh-so attractive smirk that just told of the plans he was making to woo his mate now he knew he had the chance. Both boys just laid there for a few minutes, realising the chance they really had to start over before they both reluctantly moved to unpack.

While both boys were settling in the Sorting Hat had finished its duties for another year and it was time for Dumbledore to make any announcements. Since only a small group were in the know they all remembered a specific part of the Veela laws and were practically squirming in excitement for the chaos to come.

"Well apart for the usual warnings to stay away from the forbidden forest, no magic between classes or in the corridors and the list of forbidden objects is on Mr Filch's door I have one other thing to tell you." The students started to mutter, curious as to why the Headmaster was rushing his usual speech and what could be so exciting to tell he looked like he was hypo on sugar. (Which with the amount him and Harry had ate earlier McGonagall was starting to suspect.) "It is a delight for me to announce" Dumbledore continued mischief clear in his voice, "that we have the presence of a magical being, creature bond in our midst this year."

After this Dumbledore's voice turned more serious and firm. "It is my duty as Headmaster to inform of this bond so I can formally warn you that any attempts to break this bond will end in dire punishment from not only myself and the professors but also from the bonded couple, due to act 124 of the Veela Treatise. You will also be similarly punished for any prejudice or bias against the couple." Once that was said Dumbledore aimed a pointed looked at a toady-looking women wearing a disgusting amount of pink as well as the three who had, in his eyes, betrayed his grandson.

The hall was as silent as the grave for one moment before an eruption of whispers and wild guesses came from three of the tables, none using their eyes and looked to see who might be missing.

Only the Slytherin table, who knew that Draco was coming into his Veela inheritance had any idea this could have happened and, along with one lone, blond Ravenclaw, were chuckling at the others guesses and confusion.

Finally Dumbledore had enough of the headache he could see brewing in the teachers eyes and shot fireworks from the tip of his wand to dispel the noise. "The pupils in question are young Mr Malfoy and Potter so I warn you once more, do not come between these two and expect to face no consequences, thank-you", and with that Dumbledore sat down, sucking on his lemon drops, happy in the chaos he has caused.

Half of the school turned in two different directions to figure out the housemates in question reactions. When the Slytherins simply smirked as usual, prepared for the possibility of Draco's mate being anyone last year, everyone was reassured this changed nothing for them; though those smirks did still slightly scare them.

The Gryffindor's, however, stayed in silence a moment longer to digest the news they'd been given. Once thought through most supported Harry, for he had always been there for them, only some didn't. Still they stayed silent but turned to see Granger and Weaselys reactions. The rest of the hall started getting nervous until Seamus spoke up, "You Go Boy! Go Harry!" Seamus whooped and cheered. "Couldn't Aim Small!" This he ended with a roguish wink laced with innuendoes. While everyone else chuckled and supported Harry, this seemed to be the last straw for some.

"Filthy little traitor; consorting with a snake!"
"Harry can't possibly make the right decision without me!"
"He was supposed to be MINE!" At this everyone else burst into laughter at the three's delusions.

That laughter only increased when a hex flew past them and, with a yelp, all three had been turned into animals. Ron transformed into a snake, Hermione into a slow-worm and Ginny into a spider. This meant the scene looked even more humorous when while Ron was running from Ginny the spider, Ginny was chasing Hermione for answers and to change her back somehow and Hermione was chasing Ron to blame for he was the first one hit. This meant all three animals / people were running around in a line following each other, Ron only stopping to look over his shoulder again to check if Ginny was still there and running at the sight if her causing Hermione to chase after him which only caused Ginny to chase after Hermione, and by proxy, Ron more.

After a few minutes of belly-aching laughter the whole school turned as one to the doors to find ….

After both boys had unpacked their trunks, and ignoring the slight awkwardness that had settled and lingered between them, Harry was determined to discover who his mate really was underneath all his masks as well as their fights and prejudice of each other.

"So", Harry tentively started hands behind his back, one foot on its tiptoes drawing circles into the ground. "What um … Where did … How was …", seeing how his mate was struggling Draco helped him out as well as satisfied his own curiosity. "So I heard about the trumped up underage magic charges, what did you cast that impressed Madam Bones so much?"

Draco immediately saw he was barking down the wrong street and was about to tell His Mate not to answer but Harry replied, sadly though, none the less. "Two Dementors came after me and my cousin Dudley so I had to use the Patronus charm to defend us but either no one believes and thinks I just want attention or berates me and tells me I was foolish and should have let the 'adults' deal with it." Harry recited sadly, getting slowly angrier at what he went through as he talked.

"Then, to top it all off, I get pulled up in front the whole Wizengamot, for what is basically a trial in the same courtroom that the Death Eaters had theirs!"

"Seriously? I gathered Fudge had a grudge against you for lowering his popularity ratings last year and increasing Dumbledore's for a time but treating a case of self-defence like a trial?" Draco exclaimed in incredulity before muttering rude curses under his breath, looking angered beyond belief. Harry, by contrast, looked relieved, "You actually believe me but don't blame me for what I did?" He repeated hopefully.

"Well, of course I do, it seems quite a clear-cut case to me" Draco replied, surprise colouring his tone like it should have been blatantly obvious to anyone and making it seem like those who could not see what he did couldn't see a dragon in front of their noses.

Harry lunged forward and hugged Draco, wrapping his arms around him and nuzzling into his chest. "Thank-you", he murmured quietly as they stood there, "Thank-you."

After a few more minutes, together in bliss, just being held, Draco reluctantly shifted to hold Harry's hand and gently tugged him along to the arched doorway. "Come one, let's go to the feast and see if we can catch the end tail of everyone's reactions" Draco said with a mischievous twinkle in his eyes, intending on cheering his little mate up.

He was successful for Harry giggled, then they both walked willingly together, hand-in-hand, down to the Great Hall, chatting and guessing at everyone's reactions along the way.

When they finally approached the double doors Draco put a finger to his lips, signalling Harry to be quiet, both stifling a laugh when they heard Seamus' reaction. They waited in silence for a moment before Draco burst into action to defend his mate at hearing what 'The Traitors', (as Draco had named them privately, inside Dumbledore's office) was saying.

Draco burst through the huge doors after having seen Harry's smile deflate faster than a popped balloon, casting a complex multi-transfiguration. "invisus bestia" Draco cast before turning around to comfort his mate.

After a few minutes of belly-aching laughter the whole school turned as one to the doors to find ….

Draco, with his wand hand still outstretched in case of retaliation but protecting and comforting his mate, none the less, in his embrace with his wings out in defence he truly looked a magnificent but fearful sight. This was only slightly decreased by the cuteness of Harry simply borrowing into the comfort of Draco's arms, purring with happiness.

The whole school stared at the sight of these two opposite beauty's embracing; one dark and feminine, the other light and masculine to the extreme. They were only interrupted by, "10 points to Slytherin for an extremely complex transfiguration and another 5 points for transfiguring multiple objects." This surprisingly came from Professor McGonagall and was only trumped when Professor Snape drawled out "and 15 points to Gryffindor for having the patience not to hex them sooner."

This caused the all the students to once again break into laughter at the irony of the two strictest teachers not only approving but rewarding their opposite houses and also a slightly hysterical laughter for who would of believed anything like this could have ever happened.

And with that Draco and Harry reluctantly split to sit at their house tables and see just who their friends really were.

A/N - invisus bestia = hated animal in latin